"I wasn't even sure I should come tonight," the young mom said. "Gas is so expensive, and we've been worried about my husband's job." Her comments resonated. We've all seen gas and food prices steadily rising, and the news reports a higher jobless rate and an economic slowdown.
To provide another perspective, a friend shared with the mom her own experience shortly after she and her husband got married. Both of them had substantially lowered incomes – the wife as she relocated to a job in a new state, and the husband as two temporary jobs were completed. In those first months of their marriage, by mid-month they were trying to figure out how to make do with less money than they needed for their expenses.
The wife was fearful. She'd never been on such shaky ground financially. But her husband was sure that God would supply what they needed. On the surface, that confidence might appear absurd and not very practical. But both husband and wife felt they knew about God from their study of the Bible. They knew of God's practical providing in people's lives.
The Psalmist almost scolds his readers for doubting God's ability to care for them, asking, "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" (78:19). He reminds them of how God provided to the children of Israel water (from a rock!) and food (from out of nowhere), and how He had guided them safely in their long journey – clear evidence of God's continuing ability to supply what they needed.
Jesus consistently trusted God's ability to provide what was needed. His knowledge of God's infinite fathering Love was shown practically when he fed thousands with a few loaves of bread and some small fish. He found tax money in a fish's mouth, and he always had food and lodging for himself and his disciples, although he apparently never had a paycheck.
The newlyweds were sure that God was still God, so it was natural for them to trust Him to "furnish a table" in their wilderness. Being grateful for all the good already evidenced in their lives helped keep them from being afraid. They were also trusting that it was really God's power and love providing for them, and they were careful not to think that it was an employer's paycheck that was meeting their needs. A subtle distinction perhaps, but the couple felt it was very important. They each worked to use their God-given talents and to serve God. Payment was natural for such service. Grateful as they were for those paychecks, they were consciously giving over their care to God.
They came to see that they needed to change not only their expectations but also their behavior to be more principled, more God-centered. So at the beginning of the month they put aside a small amount to save, money to pay on a debt, and money they wanted to contribute to their church. The wife vowed they'd happily eat the humblest thing she could think of for the whole month if necessary. She was no longer afraid. They went forward with their prayers and their plan.
Within a year, both husband and wife had substantial salary increases. The debt was paid off, their monthly savings increased, and there was always money for expenses and church contributions. The wife was never again afraid of not having enough income to meet their needs. And there always was enough. They were very grateful.
In the book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings" (p. vii). That sustaining infinite is, of course, God. And to trust Him to care for us in every way is a powerful response to the doubts and fears generated by media reports or personal evidence of any limitation of good in our lives. God is Love, infinite Love – a fathering-mothering Love. He is fully willing and fully able to care for each of us as His dear children.
So whenever fear nags at your thought saying, Can God really take care of us? The answer is, Yes.